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- "Insomnia is my greatest inspiration . . . no, I don't know who said that, but I'm sure he was brilliant."
- ―Stephen Leibowitz
Stephen Solomon Leibowitz was a human politician in the Unified Earth Government, becoming Director of the Human-Covenant War.following the end of the
Stephen was born on the Outer Colony world of, known for its vacation resorts, but was not part of a wealthy family. The son of farmers outside of , he was in a prime position to learn the tensions that came with expansion as the planned agricultural world was turned into a resort for wealthy Inner Colonists. When he was eight years old, he evacuated the colony with the rest of his family during the first Covenant assault, and never returned, seeking safe refuge on the planet .
While the refugee farmers often had difficulty finding work, without the demands of helping work fields or maintain JOTUNs, Stephen's dedication to his schoolwork redoubled itself, and he graduated from his secondary school the valedictorian of a class a year ahead. His low class and high grades earned him enough scholarship and grant money to attend the prestigiouson . He began studying history, but after prolonged discussions with many of his Earth-born friends who had no idea what life was like in the colonies, set his sights on a career in politics. Graduating in 2543 with a degree in history and minor in philosophy, Leibowitz applied for an internship in the CAA hoping to reconcile the differences he'd seen.
Colonial Administration Authority
- "People are starving out there because of him! If he can't do the job he's meant to, then . . . well, someone needs to."
- ―Leibowitz to a Syndicate representative called 'Gleaner'.
While he started out an eager worker, Leibowitz quickly came to realize that the CAA had lost the power to effect any real change. By disagreeing with the UEG's decision to mobilize so much of its resources for war, the organization became crippled by ONI's measures to prevent dissolution, losing much of its authority to Earth-based government institutions while thewas all but absorbed by the UNSC. Their forces were far less sympathetic to civilian problems than colonial soldiers, though were undoubtedly better trained and were more effective in evacuating colonies as was often needed during the Human-Covenant War. As such, most CAA staff were transferring or retiring while being replaced with the disgraced or lazy from other bureaus, leaving Leibowitz to rise quickly through the depleted ranks.
Still, the organization remained useful for the databases they maintained. Leibowitz's most frequent job was sending updated slipspace route information and colonial records in response to requests by military ship AIs to aid support operations, ranging from orbital bombardments to evacuation. Another critical job they performed was tracking and looking after refugees fleeing to the Inner Colonies, which was often demanding work between chaotic mass exoduses and shrinking agricultural supplies. Several times, however, the indolence of the current head of the CAA made food distribution late, leading to hunger riots and near-starvation in some cases, deeply angering him.
Leibowitz was on Luna for the duration of the Battle of Earth, and though as terrified as anyone at first, he soon volunteered coordinating relief efforts from thein , asked to help prepare a fleet of civilian cruise liners as an emergency fleet for the evacuation of the Sol System. These were fortunately unneeded, and rebuilding began once the crisis had passed. While he hoped the CAA Director would function better helping to rebuild, he was disappointed by his superior's ineptness. Thus, when a new term was to begin in 2556, Leibowitz contacted the criminal cartel called the Syndicate to ensure he was made the new Director.
Director of the CAA
- "What we are doing is that we are not setting up an . . . an equitable system of galactic government, because we are still putting our own interests ahead of what might harm the Covenant Separatists. Yes, it is a natural inclination to look out for ourselves first, and I wouldn’t ask a Sangheili to choose between saving human and Sangheili lives, but the Interspecies Union is meant to represent sentient species and their interests equally, and what Chairman Locke is doing is setting up the legislature so that we can exploit our allies later. If we want the Interspecies Union to succeed, we can’t look at it saying, “well, what can we gain here?” That was part of what started the movement that became the Insurrection is an Earth-centric government, and if we continue to think like that and of the IU as a human-centric government, we may end up with another Human-Covenant War in who knows how many years? The best thing we can do right now is to be humble as we step into the galactic community."
- ―Stephen Leibowitz criticizes Chairman Kevin Locke on early drafts of the IU charter in 2556.
The Syndicate did not disappoint, and Leibowitz replaced the former Director as head of the CAA, though instead of a cash payment, the cartel simply called it a favor, ensuring they'd have leverage to use against him in the future should he become useful to them. Despite the constant fear of scrutiny he had in the back of his mind, Leibowitz immediately became a very public figure, attending interviews with news organizations and even speaking out against certain policies advocated by Chairman Locke. Though many colonial refugees appreciated his views and openness about the UEG's position, it earned the CAA even more enemies and turned its few remaining functions from difficult to almost impossible. Within ten years, they were threatened by the possibility of being absorbed by other organizations as the CMA had.
Although Leibowitz would be derided in retrospect for nearly running the CAA into the ground, one action that would be looked on favorably involved the First-Contact Philosophers. The FCP was a radical environmentalist group that opposed colonization on worlds already sustaining animal or plant life, claiming that it interfered with the natural evolution of sentient species, going so far as to say humans should never have expanded beyond Earth. They'd become increasingly aggressive during humanity's reconstruction, and were suspected of cooperating with the United Rebel Front to carry out the bombing of a military survey installation on Reach. Leibowitz was one of the few to take them seriously, but with little the CAA could do to exert pressure on other departments, wasn't in a position to do anything about them. The CAA did, however, still control its own funds, and Leibowitz dedicated a large sum to research and development of new terraforming methods to colonize worlds that lacked any current life. The success of the project and subsequent plans for new terraformed colonies were credited with helping bring the FCP to compromise later.
Personality and Traits
- "I'm honored to be nominated for a second term, because as we all know, third time's a charm."
- ―Leibowitz jokes with a few close friends and supporters.
Having spent years in the Colonial Administration Authority has robbed Leibowitz of most of the fire in his belly his career started out with. Being unable to effect the policies dictated by the UNSC to the colonies he's responsible for has jaded him, and he's often snarky or cynical about issues of importance. Still, he takes matters of galactic politics seriously, refusing to back down on decisions that could potentially cripple the welfare of colonies just being reestablished.
Notes and References
- After Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz, AKA Jon Stewart, who serves as both inspiration and aspect of this article.
- Based on a quote by Stewart.
- Again, by Stewart.